St. John Paul II believed that our efforts to spread the Gospel will benefit from a devotion to the Heart of Jesus.
Often we will try to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but be discouraged by our results. This experience may dissuade us and shake our courage to evangelize.
For St. John Paul II, a central key to evangelization that we may be missing is a devotion to the Heart of Jesus.
He writes about this topic in his Letter on the 100th anniversary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Divine Heart of Jesus.
In facing the challenge of the new evangelization, the Christian who looks upon the Heart of Christ and consecrates himself as well as his brothers and sisters to him, the Lord of time and history, rediscovers that he is the bearer of his light. Motivated by this spirit of service, he cooperates in opening to all human beings the prospect of being raised to their own personal and communal fullness. “From the Heart of Christ, man’s heart learns to know the genuine and unique meaning of his life and of his destiny, to understand the value of an authentically Christian life, to keep himself from certain perversions of the human heart, and to unite the filial love of God with love of neighbor”
In particular, he believed this devotion could help humanity understand the depth of God’s love.
I have often urged the faithful to persevere in the practice of this devotion, which “contains a message which in our day has an extraordinary timeliness,” because “an unending spring of life, giving hope to every person, has streamed precisely from the Heart of God’s Son, who died on the Cross. From the Heart of Christ crucified is born the new humanity redeemed from sin. [Humanity] needs Christ’s Heart to know God and to know himself; he needs it to build the civilization of love.”
When we look upon Jesus and his Sacred Heart, we witness the love he has for all of us, a love that should permeate us and urge us to love others.
It is a love of the Good Shepherd that gives us the inspiration we need to be evangelizers of God’s love.
Each person needs to be more committed to praying the Lord of the harvest (cf. Mt 9:38) to grant the Church “shepherds after his own heart” (Jer 3:15) who, in love with Christ the Good Shepherd, will pattern their own hearts on his and be ready to go out into the highways of the world to proclaim to all that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
If you want to be a more effective evangelist of the Gospel, look to Jesus’ Heart and learn from him how to love others.